[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ L.A. Labor News Message Board ] [ FAQ ]

Posted by on September 27, 2001 at 00:49:07:

A Message to All Activists in the Struggle for Peace

September 29, 2001 by Floyce White

Today we gather to oppose President Bush's threats to launch a war of revenge--really a war for conquest of oil and gas fields and poppy fields. I too am saddened and horrified by the depraved acts of murder committed by terrorist hijackers September 11. But I will allow neither warmongering nor pacifist "non-politicization" to dissuade me from discussing these urgent issues with fellow activists.

Peace is the natural, cooperative condition of humanity. Warfare is an anti-social aberration that can be ended permanently. Peace is a way of life, not merely an interval between attacks. Our struggle is to end the entire system that causes war and violence.

Every violent act and threat of harm is based on a mistaken idea: that one person should tell another what to do. Power over others is achieved by claiming possession of the things that other people use. Power over others becomes a method of human relations--a social system--in which every thing, every place, every idea is someone's property.

Ownership takes the actual form of society divided into classes. The upper class consists of inheritance units--families--that make huge claims of ownership. Economic and political oppression comes as the rich enforce their claims. Employers, landlords, merchants, and investors are the instigators of coercion and war. For this reason, rich people must not be invited to participate in peace activities.

The lower class consists of the great majority whose claims of ownership do not go beyond items of personal use. These dispossessed families are forced to sell themselves as laborers to the possessing rich. Working-class people are exploited, but do not exploit others for property gain. This concern for others before one's self is the only source of peace; therefore, the struggle of the working class to end capitalism is the same as the struggle to end warfare.

We must advocate action based on the self-organization of the working class. We must reject the elitist notion that poor people are somehow unable to comprehend theory or practice. To the contrary--the poorest people are the best informed about actual conditions and are the most capable of directing struggle. We must oppose any philosophy that tends to limit the participation of poor people. Concepts of race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual revolution, male chauvinism, experts or authority figures, and the like are just excuses for the existing structure of oppression. Comrades from capitalist family origins must step aside and become sympathizers without voice and vote.

For many years, the goal of the movement against capitalism was called "socialism." Socialists adopted the idea of maximizing state (public) property while retaining most other forms of family (private) property. The reality of so-called "socialist countries" or "workers' states"--such as the USSR or China--was rule by petty capitalist clans that individually were not big enough to control heavy industry. They exploited the working class directly through small business, and indirectly through government-owned big business with a hired bureaucracy of privileged management workers--many of who were from petty-bourgeois families. As soon as these families accumulated enough power to wrest control of heavy industry, they dropped their fiction of being pro-worker.

Nationalization is part of the ordinary organization of capital. How could it be otherwise? The nation-state is the form of territorial rule specific to capitalism, just as the kingdom was specific to feudalism. "Nation-alized" means in the hands of one nation of capitalist families. Most countries use a nationalized postal system. Many have a nationalized airline. Nationalized big business can be found in many less-developed countries. Nationalizations are also used by more-developed capitalism as a way to rescue unprofitable industries, such as Conrail and Amtrak in the US. Some socialists developed theories of "state capitalism" or "statism" that correctly identify the so-called "socialist countries" or "workers' states" as a form of capitalism, but their goals are fundamentally no different. They too are in favor of maintaining property relations--the system of exploitation of labor--with maximized state property. The struggle against capitalism is yoked to the method of nationalizations, which is no more anti-capitalist than are syndicates or co-ops. In many less-developed countries, the struggle for workers' liberation is also subordinated to the local capitalists' struggle for national liberation from foreign domination. The anti-imperialist movement becomes a pro-petty-capitalist movement. Fact is, the entire history of socialism is a history of bitter defeats of various "minimum programs," "transitional periods," and other experiments in "stages."

For these reasons, we must oppose socialism and any pretense to stop the struggle at some "stage." Instead, we must advocate the abolition of all property relations--both public and private--during the overthrow of the capitalist state. If our method is to always relegate the ultimate goal to the far future, it will never be achieved. Our slogans must be:


Please post comments for discussion at:

or mail letters to this address:
PO Box 191341, San Diego, CA 92159-1341

Follow Ups:

Post a Followup




Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL:

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ L.A. Labor News Message Board ] [ FAQ ]